The bank has pledged to keep all job positions functioning in both its corporate centres and its branch network in Spain, and has promised not to temporarily suspend any employment contract.
It will also help service contractors in Spain to maintain employment, covering the cost of wages for the most vulnerable providers.
Santander donates €4 million to the Madrid regional government to set up 2,000 new beds in the temporary hospital at the IFEMA conference centre and to buy ventilators for ICUs. In addition, the bank has purchased one million masks to send to the Ministry of Health.
Madrid, 23 March 2020
Banco Santander has today pledged to keep all job positions functioning in both its corporate centres and throughout its branch network in Spain. In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, the bank has undertaken not to make mass redundancies or temporarily suspend employment contracts, providing assurance for the bank's 29,000 direct employees in Spain.
It will also help companies that provide services at its facilities that are currently closed to prevent these companies from having to dismiss their own employees due to lack of activity. The bank will negotiate with those small service providers that depend largely on the bank in Spain to cover the wages of their most vulnerable employees and will introduce initiatives with providers to meet the most urgent needs derived from the health emergency.
Santander has donated €4 million to the Madrid regional government to set up 2,000 new beds in the temporary hospital at the IFEMA conference centre and to buy ventilators for the ICUs. It has also allocated another €1 million for the purchase of one million masks that it will send to the Ministry of Health. The bank has also come to agreements with the authorities to provide help, in different ways, with organising catering for the healthcare professionals attending the sick at the provisional IFEMA hospital.
The chief executive officer of Santander Spain, Rami Aboukhair, said: "The magnitude of this health crisis demands that we all work together to help mitigate its impact as much as possible. The efforts, generosity and professionalism of our employees, who are continuing to serve customers and keep business going, in spite of the exceptional circumstances, are praiseworthy. They are ultimately guaranteeing the service that we, as a bank, must provide the community, especially in a complex situation such as this. It is now when we have to be closer than ever to the people and, of course, to the companies in our country and work to help them protect employment if they need us."
In order to provide solutions for customers, Santander Spain was the first institution to offer a loans facility of €20 billion to cover the liquidity needs of SMEs in the short term, and to make the ICO-Covid 19 credit line, amounting to €400 million, available to companies in the tourism, hotel and catering sectors.
Giving maximum priority to protecting the health of its customers and its employees, Santander has gradually adapted the number of branches open in the different markets, guaranteeing service at all times, thanks to digital tools and strengthening other channels for customer relations.
The bank has also taken measures to protect the health of its people working in corporate centres, with the adoption of remote working, and that of its shareholders, taking the decision to hold the general shareholders' meeting with remote attendance only.